Kids have been gone two weeks now and I am already starting to fall behind. I have an eleven month contract because I work on the school computers in the summer. All the things kids have managed to do to the computers during the school year I now have time to fix. It is truly amazing what they can do to a computer that I have no idea how they did it. We do long term loans of laptops to students. When I get those back I have to reformat them completely. If I was clever I would find some free imaging software that is actually understandable. No luck so far. No big deal. I have 10 Win7 DVDs so I just get a bunch cranking at the same time. It just takes time.
I have been working on a University of Alabama on-line APCS-Principals course. The course is intended for teachers that want to see what it is all about. Very interesting. I really like the idea behind the course, less programming, more CS. The course is really useful for me in that there is a large number of teachers on the course’s blog. A good chance to talk to peers and get ideas. There is quite a cross section of attendees. All the way from people who do not really understand the binary number system and are intimidated by Scratch to people who have whole APCS courses built and have been teaching it for many years.
I got my first motorcycle trip for the year in. Four days in the saddle to Oregon. We were planning on about an 1800 mile trip but only did about 1400 miles. Two days of rain slowed us down. We even hit snow on one of the passes in Oregon. Snow is a bad thing on a motorcycle. We got as far as Bend and came home. It was still a great trip. Lots of little back roads with lots of sharp corners. Found some excellent micro brews and good food. No speeding tickets. That is one of the advantages of riding with a friend who is on a Harley-Davidson. I have to slow down and wait a lot. He did get pulled over with only a warning. Chuckle. Someday I really have to sell the high speed sport-tourer I ride and get something more suitable to my age and hand-and-eye coordination. But there is just something about 145 mph.
I did a mountain bike race last week. I had not raced in years so I figured it was time for self-humiliation again. Got second in my class. Of course there were only 3 people in my class but whatever. Most people my age know better and have switched to golf. The guy that got first in my class was competitive with the young guys. I passed him on the first downhill then he just disappeared on the climb. The race was a series of loops. The experts did two big loops, about 12 miles per loop. The sports (me) did the big loop and then part of the big loop, about 17 miles total. To give an idea of how fast the experts are the overall winner lapped me twice. He was not sweating either time. All the other experts only lapped me once. I almost killed myself trying to not get lapped by the second place. It is the little successes in life that count. I can pretty much smoke everyone on the downhills (no brains) but the uphills are where races are won and I do not go up very well. If I cut out beer and cheesecake I could go up faster. I like beer and cheesecake better than racing. It was a fun day.